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THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF 

AND 

THE WORLD SOCIALIST PARTY OF THE 
UNITED STATES 

OBJECT: 

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common 
ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for 
producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society 
as a whole. 

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES 

The Companion Parties of Socialism hold: 

* That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means 

of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, 
and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labor alone wealth 
is produced. 
2 That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself 

as a class struggle between those who possess but do not produce, and those who 
produce but do not possess. 
-3 That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working 

class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the com- 
mon property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their demo- 
cratic control by the whole people. 

4 That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to 
achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the 

emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex. 

5 That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself. 

/: That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, 
exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken 
from the workers, the working class must organize consciously and politically for the 
conquest of the powers of government, in order that this machinery, including these 
farces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipa- 
tion and overthrow of plutocratic privilege. 

j That as political parties are but the expression of class Interests, and as the 
interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interest of all 
sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be 
hostile to every other party. 

o THE COMPANION PARTIES OP SOCIALISM, therefore, enter the field of political 
action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged 
Hejbor or avowedly capitalist, and call upon all members of the working class of theae 
countries to support these principles to the end that a termination may be brought 
to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labor, and that poverty may 
give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom. 
Those agreeing with the above principles and desiring enrollment in the Party should 
apply for Application for Membership from the secfy of nearest local or the Nafl Hdqtrs. 

These six parties adhere to the same Socialist Principles: 
SOCIALIST PARTY OP AUSTRALIA — P. O. Box 1440, Melbourne, Australia; 

Sydney, Australia, Box 2291, GPO. 
SOCIALIST PARTY OP CANADA — P. O. Box 115, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 
SOCIALIST PARTY OP GREAT BRITAIN — 52 Clapham High St., London 8W. 4- 
SOCIALIST PARTY OP NEW ZEALAND — P. O. Box 82, Petone, New Zealand; 

P. O. Box 1929, Auckland, New Zealand. 

WORLD SOCIALIST PARTY OP IRELAND— 53 High St, Room 5, Belfast 1, No. Ireland 
WORLD SOCIALIST PARTY OF U. S.— 11 Faneuil Hall Sq., Boston, Mass. 02109. 




No. 3-1966 
Vol. 33— No. 251 
BOSTON, MASS. 



I I 






The Indonesian Massacre 



• THAT CHINESE "COMMUNISM" 

• PROFITS & DEATH ON HIGHWAYS 

• PIGEONS & PIGEON TRAINERS 

• TAXES & THOSE WHO PAY THEM 

• INTERNATIONALISM 

• THE BRITISH ELECTIONS 

• PROBLEMS of CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM 



Under capitalism the real product of industry is profits 
. . . other attributes of commodities such as usefulness, safety 
and fitness for human consumption are realized only to the 
extent that they further profit. 




FROM OUR MAIL BAG 



MAY DAY IN BELFAST 
Dear Comrades: 

I'm sorry I have been delayed in giving 
you an account of our May Day demon- 
stration, but I ran into a bit of trouble with 
the police. One of our chief propaganda 
missions was to distribute leaflets at the 
Trades Union Council March. This is a very 
grand affair with unions coming in from 
all over the country with their banners 
and their bands and a platform staffed 
with the usual collection of "Reformers." 
The rally point was inside the Fruit and 
Vegetable Market which have ancient iron 
gates with ornamental spikes on the top. 
We had placed one of our banners across 
the top of those gates at the conclusion 
of the March, I was trying to remove 
it under the direct observation by two 
officers of The Royal Ulster Constabulary 
— a Sergeant and a District Inspector. 
(In addition to the gold badge on his 
sleeve a "D.I" is recognized by his walking 
stick). As I was trying to remove our 
banner a gust of wind caught it and im- 
paled it on top of the spikes. . . Well what 
could I do, Comrades? What would you 
have done? Well I asked the District 
Inspector if he would mind if I borrowed 
his walking stick. Needless to say he 
didn't. Instead he took a firmer grip upon 
it and swinging it above his head... 
Proceeded to carefully release our banner 
from the gate... thus, Comrades, on 1st of 
May, 1966 I became the first member of 
The World Socialist Party of Ireland to 
invoke the aid of the police. 

S. W. MacCloskey 



Once again our answer to the Christian 
Science critic from Pocatello, Idaho was 
crowded out. Look for it in W.S. No. 4- 
1966. 



OFFICIAL NOTICE 

Subscriptions, donations, articles and cor- 
respondence for insertion in The Western 
Socialist should be addressed to the World 
Socialist Party, 11 Faneuil Hall Sq., Boston 
Mass. 02109, or Socialist Party of Canada 
P. O. Box 115, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

SUBSCRIPTION RATES 

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15 issues $2 .oo 

Lifetime Sub $15.00 

Bundle rates (in lots of 10 or more) 

per issue 10<? per copy 



New York, N Y 
Dear Friends: ' ' ' 

Here is a terrific tip on a real bargain 
Readers of "The Western Socialist" will tn 
gratified. 

' en . 350 7th Ave. 



This message brought to you b> Max 
Tel.: PE 6-9305 



ON BUYING A MINK COAT 
FOR $70,000 

Some of you have probably spent sleep- 
less nights wondering why Max Bogen's 
name was conspicuous in its absence from 
the list of Mink purchasers who paid up 
to $1,100 per skin at Wednesday's Mink 
auction. 

Don't think we didn't consider buying 
some. 

We examined the Mink and found them 
to be beautiful and well-furred. 

But we also thought, that in coat form, 
an expert at ten paces would be hard put 
to tell the $70,000 Mink coat from the 
$4,000 Mink coat which we are proud to 
deliver. 

Now, let's look at the economics of it: 

After ten years, the lady who buys the 
$70,000 Mink coat is tired of it, and what 
•has she got? An old Mink coat. 

Her friend bought a $4,000 Max Bogen 
Mink coat and deposited the $66,000 she 
was left with, at her favorite commercial 
bank. 

At the end of ten years, what has she 
got? On old Mink coat and $110,817.23. 

You know, buying a Max Bogen Mink 
coat might just prove to be a perfect hedge 
against Depression. 

(Ad in N.Y. Times, 5-8-66) 



SOCIALISM ON RADIO 

Listen to Local Boston radio programs 
on Saturday evenings: June 18, July 2, 16, 
30 from 6.55 to 7.00 p.m. over WCRB, 1330 
AM, 102.5 FM. 



BOSTON ACTIVITIES — SUNDAYS 

11 Faneuil Hall Square 

June 12 Power Potential— Talk by L. 

Fenton 
June 19 The Great American Funeral — 

Film 
June 26 Informal Social 
July 3 East Germany: Land Beyond the 

Wall—Film 
July 10 Alternatives to Capitalism— W. 

Jerome, G. Ellenbogen 
July 17 The Dropout — Film 
July 24 Sweden — Film 
July 31 Informal Social 




jouRn^i^sciQTinc-socifiLism-'n-T^-iucsTQn-HCfnisPHQC 



VOL. 33 



BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 



Number 251 



ppjT COMMITTEE VIEWS THE NEWS 



XI T. COMlVllTTbti vm vvo ■ n«- .^.»~ 

THE INDONESIAN MASSACRE 

_ . . _,_..,:_ a^ r mimists" to that which seems to 



Under a Jakarta dateline Seth S 
King a New York Times Far East 
correspondent, writes of the recent 
slaughter of Indonesian "commun- 
ists"* Amid the grisly details ol a 
carnage that runs all the way from 
the "official" figure set recently by 
the angry President Sukarno (who is 
thus far, suffered to remain in office 
albeit with greatly lightened author- 
ity) of 87,000 to the estimate of an 
unnamed diplomat that at least 30$- 
000 have died since last October one 
lesson seems clear. The United States 
can learn much from Indonesia on the 
"art" of killing "communists on a 
mass scale and at minimum cost per 
dead "communist." For if the figure 
of 300,000 is accurate then — as Mr. 
King points out - "more than one 
third more people have a Iready ^ been 
killed in Indonesia in the past six 
months than have died in Vietnam 
since the Vietminh started their war 
against the French 15 years ago. 
And the massacre in Indonesia was 
accomplished without benefit of ex- 
pensive bombers, napalm tear and 

nausea gas, and S^ 611 ] 163 : 6 ^^; 
ern assassins aided and abetted by a 
quarter of a million normal - type 
warriors. Largely plain old-fashioned 
murder at the hands of old-fanned 
mobs of aroused Moslem and Hindoo 
fanatics seems to have turned the 
trick in Indonesia. 

But another point must be made 
_ a point of similarity in the ap- 
proach of at least some Indonesians 
to the problem of destroying com- 



*The New York Times Magazine, May 8, 
1966. 



munists" to that which seems to be 
followed by American and Soutn 
Vietnam Government forces. Mr. 

^^ong'lne xenophobic Moslems of 
northern Sumatra, the principal targets 
were the Javanese who had been imported 
to work on state-owned plantations. Many 
of them were Communists; all of them were 
suspected of being Communists, and the 
fact that they were Javanese strangers was 
enough." (His emphasis). 

Like American and South Viet- 
namese Government "freedom J^ 
ces, the Indonesian anti-" communist 
policy seems to have been: if they 
don't look right to y<?%™* ^ 
out. Some of them just might toe 

"communists!" „-'+■*,"«,'+ 

And does it not seem strange that 

so little has been P u1oli f f ed A ^a 
"freedom loving" press of A me ™a 
on the Indonesian massacre? one 
would think that 300 000 murde-d 
"communists" should rate some 
crocodile tears, at least. Supposmg 
it had been the other way around 
with P K. I. (Indonesian Peking- 
S?nt£ Communist Party) perform- 
ing the sacrificial duties Ah what 
a howl there would have been! But 
whatever cooperation « coUu^n 
there might have been between .me 
US and Indonesia military factions 
?here £ now cause for rejoicing m 
Washington for "communist" China 
Sems to be no longer an influence 
n that vitally important land and ^the 
once rjowerful P.K.I, (with a book 
membStp of some three — jand 
a nowerf ul influence over many more 
mnnons throughout all of the islands) 
™ crushed. Crushed, moreover, by 



Page 4 



The Western Socialist 



No. 3 — 



their fellow-Indonesians rather than 
by American troops which could have 
been the introduction to general 
disaster. 

* * * 

And while on the subject of "com- 
munist" nations and "communists" 
some interesting facts should be set 
forth: Although the darling of the 
Chinese-oriented parties, Indonesia 
was by no means a Communist -dom- 
inated state nor has Sukarno been 
typical of the Leninist-Stalinist 
leaders. President Sukarno has pro- 
tested that he "balanced" Indonesia's 
nationalists, "communists," and reli- 
gionists one against the other. His 
policy was known as "nasakom," a 
coined word which embraces all 
three conflicting groups. Not that 
"communists" have ever found it im- 
possible or even difficult to unite 
with nationalists and religionists — 
when expedient — but unfortunately 
for the P.K.I, its main allegiance was 
to China. Sukarno's "Guided Demo- 
cracy" was, while it lasted, a sort of 
neo -united front of warring political 
groups but alas! a tenuous one as 
were so many of the Communist 
United Fronts of bygone years. When 
the lamb lies with the lion it is 
the lion that comes out on top! 



TWO PROFESSORS "STRIKE OIL" 
While still on the subject of "com- 
munist" nations our hats are off to 
a couple of professors; J. Kenneth 
Galbraith ("Affluent Society") of Har- 
vard; and Gajo Petrovic of the 
University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 
who recently addressed a conference 
on Karl Marx in the modern world 
at the University of Notre Dame. 

In a CDN dispatch from Wash- 
ington that made the front page of 
The Boston Globe (April 26, 1966), 
Peter Lisagor tells us of Professor 
Galbraith's distaste for arming pauper 
nations. The official line that such 
poverty-stricken areas as India, 
Pakistan, most of Africa, and Indo- 
nesia are targets for "communist 
revolution" does not go down with 
him. As quoted by Lisagor, Galbraith 
states: 



"Only the peculiar and mind-numbing 
tendencies of cold-war fears and formulas 
have kept us from seeing that communism, 
the most highly organized of systems, has no 
chance where there is no organization at all. 

"The Soviets seem to have been equally 
retarded. It was a mistake, incidentally, 
that Marx would not have made. (Lisagor's 
emphasis). 

"Having doubted that Russia was suf- 
ficiently advanced for successful socialism, 
he would have had little hope for In- 
donesia ..." 

And M.S. Handler in a special 
dispatch to The New York Times of 
April 27, 1966, quotes Professor Petro- 
vic (in the course of a talk on "alien- 
ation of man from society and from 
himself" as a central theme of Marx's 
philosophy) : 

"... The transformation of private prop- 
erty into the state property. . .does not 
introduce an essential change in the situ- 
ation of the working man, the producers. 

"The dealienation of economic life requires 
a^so the abolition of state property, its] 
transformation into real social property and 
this can be achieved only by organizing the 
whole of social life on the basis of self- 
management of the immediate producers." 

Bravo! Professor Galbraith and 
Petrovic. Even though we are not 
convinced that you are completely 
clear on the nature of socialist revo- 
lution, what you have been quoted 
as having said needs saying again 
and again by people whose words 
are quite apt to be widely listened 
to. It is good to know that we 
are no longer just about all alone 
— as we have been for all of fifty 
years. 

K * * 

OH, FORTUNATE AMERICAN 
WORKERS! 

How good it is to learn, as we did 
by reading The New York Times for 
Sunday, March 6, 1966, that United 
States is now second only to France 
in total investments in Vietnam. The 
French are still well up on "us" with 
some $202,500,000 in assets (rubber, 
tea and coffee plantations, etc., as 
well as four banks in Saigon and 
domination in the bicycle industry). 
"We" are second, with under $50 



3 — 1966 



Western Socialist 



Page 5 



million (primarily in petroleum a 
S ie and a paper mill and a dairy 
company). But "our" businessmen 
and bankers are giving the situation 
some serious attention and have been 
"casing the joint" in the interests 
ofSSferican, rather than foreign, 
SveSment. As Henry H. Sperry 
vice-president in Hong Kong of the 
SSt National City Bank of New 

Y °^^eve we're going to win this war 
and afterwards you'll have a major job o 
reconstruction on your hands. That will 
take financing, and financing means banks. 
"I think the Government here recognizes 
the need for American banks. It would 
be illogical to permit the English and 
French to monopolize the banking business 
because South Vietnam's economy is be- 
* coming more and more U.S. oriented. 

Mr Sperry is right. The American 
boys who have been saved from the 
rigors of wage-slavery in American 
industry (for the time being) by ship- 
ment to South Vietnam, should at 
least have the right to bleed and even 
to die in the interests of American 
— rather than foreign capitalists it 
makes a big difference — to the 

American capitalist! 
* * * 



THAT CHINESE "COMMUNISM" 
The contention (frequently met in 
the U S Press) that it is not possible 
for us in the United States to get 
information on the true state of af- 
fairs in Red China because our cor- 
respondents are not permitted to enter 
that area is so much nonsense Not 
that we mean to imply that American 
newsmen should not be able to enter 
China and write of it. But the 
Canadian Government, for example, 
which maintains diplomatic and busi- 
ness relations with Red China doe„ 
permit Canadian reporters the op- 
portunity to visit and write of the 
Chinese scene. Since the U. b.- 
Canadian border is not sealed we are 
able to get the information from 
Canadian sources. «™*_ 

Is the Red Chinese system a worK 
ers' paradise"? Or, to put it more con- 
servatively, does the system operate 
in toe interest of the working class 
as the Maoist propagandists would 



have us believe? Lyn Harrington, a 
Canadian writer, tells us in her ar- 
ticle in "Maclean's" of May 2, 1966 
of "her interview with one "worker 
couple in Shanghai who, in company 
with some 90,000 other "workers of 
their type in that city do live in a 
veritable paradise. 

In the words of Liu Nyan-tse (a 
"transformed capitalist") "I'm not a 
Communist. I'm a capitalist. l 
draw a million yuan on my invest- 
ments, and as general manager 
of China Wool Manufacturing Com- 
pany, my salary is 525 yuan _a 
month" (This, according to Lyn 
Harrington, is equivalent to m 
investment income of $420,000 Ca- 
nadian plus $225.00 monthly). And 
it seems that "some sixty-five other 
Chinese families are in the same 
position of drawing nearly half a 
million dollars a year." 

Nor is Liu and his fellow capitalists 
denied the opportunity to live ,Wg 
their affluence permits. For despite 
the fact that there ^e no nightclubs 
no speculation, and so forth, for then 
entertainment they do have two 
cars, three servants, and an ample 
wardrobe for Madame Liu as well as 
ample spending money for the child- 
ren at school. As Mr. Liu put it to 
Lyn Harrington: "I never had it so 
good nor felt so well as I do today. 
J have no more worries about com- 

Pe T^e 0n fact is, of course, that China's 
small but knowledgeable (in man- 
orial matters) capitalist class was 
invited to remain and help bui Id 
■mew" China. Their factories weie 
sold to the state in return for an an- 
nual income of 5% plus the mana- 
gerial salary and all that was expected 
fn return was that they would be- 
come "remolded." And what, exactly, 
doTs that mean? ^hnply that they 
attend frequent meetings with Com 
mmSst" leaders, confess their previous 
Zs and atone for them by endorsing 
the "new" way of life for Chinas 
teeming hundreds of millions Tta>. 
is the so-called new China A : genuine 
"npw deal" for the capitalist class, 
conunued poverty and intensified 
exploitation for the workers. 



Page 6 



The Western Socialist 



No. 3 — 1966 *»■ 3 - 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 1 



PROFITS AND DEATH ON THE HIGHWAY 



For years now "the carnage on the 
highways" has been a cliche used by 
commentators to describe one aspect 
of the American way of life — the 
heavy cost of automobile transpor- 
tation. Over one and one -half mil- 
lion people have been killed on the 
highways in half a century. Each 
year more lives are lost in autos than 
in the entire course of most of the 
wars fought by the U.S. Four mil- 
lion were injured last year alone. At 
present rates, one out of every two 
Americans will be injured or killed 
in an automobile accident. Damages 
run to almost eight and one half bil- 
lion dollars. 

SACRED COW 

For years Americans have accepted 
this cost fatalistically since, given 
human frailty, it seemed as if little 
could be done. The blame for ac- 
cidents has been placed on the driver, 
on certain classes of drivers, on road 
conditions, on law enforcement, etc., 
but not on the auto itself. The auto- 
mobile has been a kind of sacred 
cow; it has become a symbol of the 
highly praised American way of life. 
Men's egos, desires for status, sexual 
sublimations, urges for escape, all 
have been wrapped up in this symbol 
of modern capitalism. 

. . . YIELDS SUPER-PROFITS 

Moreover, the automobile industry 
and its dependents dominate Amer- 
ican industry. One out of every seven 
workers is employed in this field. 
Most of the ten largest super-cor- 
porations revolve around the auto- 
mobile. On top of them all is General 
Motors. Last year, G.M. grossed $20.7 
billion — an amount greater than the 
entire gross national product of 
Brazil and greater than that of most 
of the United Nations, a greater 
amount than the entire revenue of 
the French government. Last year 
G. M. made the largest profit in the 
entire history of company profits 
anywhere — one and % billion dol- 



lars! Half a billion more than the 
total budget of the U.S. "war on 
poverty." American capitalists make 
super-profits on the sacred cow. 

Death on the highway, profits in 
Detroit. These two elements of 
American capitalism have been linked 
in rapidly accumulating evidence 
that has finally, after a year of public 
discussion, reached the headlines. 

MASSIVE EVIDENCE ACCUMULATES 

At this late date, there is little 
point in displaying the extensive 
evidence pointing to the automobile 
as a factor in accidents. Of course, 
there are other factors, the driver 
being the chief one. One of the 
points made by auto critics is that 
regardless of how an accident occurs, 
the severity of the damage depends 
to a great extent upon the vehicle. 
Those interested in examining in 
detail the evidence can consult the 
following: Ralph Nader's Unsafe at 
Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers 
of the American Automobile (Gross- 
man); Jeffrey O'Connell and Arthur 
Myer's Safety Last: An Indictment 
of the Auto Industry (Random 
House) ; Consumer Reports, April 
1965; the recent report of the Senate 
Governments Operations Subcommit- 
tee's hearing on the proposed Traffic 
Safety Act; the records of the panel 
held during April in Washington, D.C. 
by the Council on Consumer Infor- 
mation; and the reports to the Stapp 
Crash Conference in October 1964 
reported in the Medical Tribune in 
early 1965. 

POOR QUALITY 

These sources give facts and figures 
carefully documented not by social- 
ists, but by noted engineers, phys- 
icians, law professors, and other 
professionals. In summary, the evi- 
dence of the automobile's contribution 
to death and maiming comes under 
two headings — poor quality control 
and unsafe design. 

Poor quality control means that 
many cars — 18.5% according to the 



aU to companies' own figures — have 
' had defects resulting from sloppniess 
in production and inspection. Over 
the past several years the assembly 
toes at Detroit have been speeded 
L and tired workers laboring at 
breakneck speed make mistakes. In- 
sufficient effort has been exerted to 
Sover these mistakes before the 
cars go on the market. Once on the 
market, efforts to catch the defects 
are hushed up because of the un- 
favorable impact on sales by any 
damaging publicity. Only recently 
when Senator Ribicoff demanded that 
the auto manufacturers produce thetf 
records, did astonished Americans 
learn that G.M. alone has quietly 
recalled about 8.7 million cars in the 
last six years. 

UNSAFE DESIGN 



Less emphasis is found in the mass 
media concerning the charge of un- 
safe design, the more serious charge 
Unsafe design refers to the fact that 
the auto is planned with little regard 
for the possible effects of a collision 
upon the occupants of the vehicle 
This disregard has made accidents 
caused by other factors more injurious 
than they need otherwise have been. 
In spite of the vast resources of the 
auto industry, little effort has been 
made in safety research, ^^on- 
existing knowledge of safety design- 
ing has been ignored by the industry 
For years model cars with safety 
features have been displayed around 
the country by Cornell University s 
Automotive Crash Injury Research 
Project. Two years ago, an Italian 
company brought forth an experi- 
mental car engineered to maximize 

Furthermore, Detroit has actually 
fought efforts to further auto safety. 
The New York State Legislatures 
safety belt law was fought viciously 
by Detroit. The chairman- of the 
legislative committee was even called 
by one of his campaign contributors 
and threatened with loss of funds 
if he persisted. Heavyhanded cor- 
porate police-state tactics have been 
uncovered. Critic Nader was shad- 
owed by detectives in a despeiate 



effort to uncover material which could 
be used to blackmail him into 
silence. 

SAFETY SCANDAL INDICTS 
CAPITALISM 

There is no question that the facts 
publicized by the recent hearings in 
Washington are a shocking indict- 
ment of the auto industry. A driver 
whose negligence results m a single 
death is subject to the severe penal- 
ties of a criminal prosecution. Yet 
the massive slaughter caused not 
merely by the negligence of manufac- 
turers but by a conspiracy against 
safety that has cost untold thousands 
of lives goes unpunished! Where 
human life is at stake Detroit 
sacrifices safety to profits Many of 
the possible alterations for safety 
would have been very cheap — es- 
pecially considering the fact that the 
auto buyer pays about $700.00 for the 
vearly stylistic changes. Yet the 
safety scandal goes even deeper than 
an indictment of the auto industry 
if is an indictment of capitalism 
itself. 

CAPITALISM MEANS PROFITS, 
NOT USEFULNESS 



One elementary part of the socialist 
case is that under capitalism goods 
are produced for sale and not pri- 
marily for use. As long as P^^ge 
motive for production, usefulness 
w\n be subordinated to the require- 
ment of profit. The myth upon which 
the rationale for capitalism rests is 
that the maximization of profit lor 
capitalists leads to the jnaximization 
of usefulness for workers. Just as 
the living organism is subject to trie 
nexoJabfe laws of biology, so the 
social system of capitalism « ^ubject 
to its inherent laws of operation 
Capitalists must seek to accumulate 
capital and to do this they must 

m Sr Ze caSS\sm the real product 
of industry is profits The real prod- 
uct of the auto industry is profits 
not automobiles. Other attributes of 
commodities such as ^efulness 
safety, and fitness for human con 

Turn to Page 19 



Page 8 



The Western Socialist 



No. 3 - 196 G ««• 3 - 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Pagre 9 



PIGEONS AND PIGEON TRAINERS 



Behavioral Psychology In A Capitalist World 



Behavioral psychology, like nuclear 
physics, is a science that could help 
us a lot. Experiments like that of 
Dr. O. K. Moore at Hamden Country 
Day School in New Haven, Connecti- 
cut, for example, have shown us that 
through behavioral methods, children 
five and six years old, can be taught 
to write with the vocabulary of a col- 
lege freshman and mimeograph their 
own newspaper.* But, again, like 
nuclear physics, behavioral science 
has already been ghoulishly misused 
by the "power structure" of capitalist 
society. 

The science of behavior attempts 
to study, classify, and account for 
human behavior. There is nothing 
wrong with this activity in itself. 
The "wrong" of the matter lies in the 
fact that the science is being mis- 
used. It is unfortunate, but inevi- 
table under capitalism, that the 
ability to control behavior through 
scientific methods is falling into the 
hands of those who represent the 
interests of the capitalist class: the 
military machine, the government, 
and industrial management. What 
this science is presently used for is 
not primarily the building of an 
educational system that will develop 
all the latent capacities of human 
beings; not to contribute to the 
development of a better, non-punitive, 
co-operative social system. Capital- 
ism has other "priority" uses for 
behavioral science, just as it has for 
atomic power. The grants which sup- 
port research in behavioral science at 
Harvard and elsewhere do not come 
from working-class wage envelopes, 
and it is not working-class interests 
which will first be served by the 
results. Let us look at three typical 
examples of the uses of this new 
science under capitalism. 
INDUSTRY 
A time-study expert has been given 
the job of squeezing more production 

* Cf. "Pied Piper of Hamden" by James 
Canniff (Columbia magazine, July 1964) 



out of the work-force for less money 
Even without the help of behavior- 
ists, the company already has con- 
siderable control over the worker 
because of the wages system itself- 
more control, in fact, than it is pos- 
sible to acquire over the behavior of 
a chattel slave. When a pigeon in 
an experimental box pecks a key, and 
is "rewarded" every ten minutes for 
this behavior with a pellet of food, 
he is said to be on a flxed-intervca 
reinforcement schedule; his response 
of pecking is reinforced on a fixed 
interval of ten minutes. Similarly, 
when a worker produces goods and is 
rewarded every week with a wage, 
his response of work is reinforced on 
a fixed-interval of one week. Granted 
that pigeons are not men, that 
pigeons can be isolated for experi- 
mental purposes, and that they are 
not influenced by "culture," "tradi- 
tion," or class divisions; but the fact 
is that reinforcement is a potent 
method of control over almost any 
species. 

Now what the time-study expert 
may attempt to do, if he is a good 
behaviorist as well as a good reporter, 
is to provide "encouragement" to a 
worker who can convey part A to 
part B in two hand- motions instead 
of his usual three or four. Since ap- 
proval is a generalized reward, or 
reinforcer, in our society, and most 
of us respond to it under the right 
conditions, the worker will probably 
refine his hand movements in the 
desired direction. But at this point 
the behaviorist raises the ante: he 
gives the approval only when part A 
reaches part B in one motion. Tech- 
nically he is shaping behavior 
through successive approximation and 
differential reinforcement. It is ac- 
tually more complex than it is des- 
cribed here, but good trainers have 
been known to teach pigeons how to 
bowl in this manner. The worker 
may be producing more parts per hour 
than ever before. As an added and 
more tangible reinforcement, his 



wage may be raised from $2.25 to 
$2.30 an hour. This is a nice arrange- 
ment for the owner of the parts. 
And if he can get away with it, the 
owner shifts his men to piece-work, 
that is, he will make the reinforce- 
ment depend on the number of 
responses emitted rather than the 
interval of time between reinforce- 
ments Technically, piece-work is 
described by the term fixed-ratio 
reinforcement; and any good behav- 
iorist knows that a pigeon on a fixed- 
ratio schedule will peck far longer 
and harder than a pigeon on a fixed- 
interval schedule. When the human 
being that they are treating like a 
pigeon goes home at night wrung out 
like a dried lemon peel, and when 
he has to spend most of his new 
five-cent raise on tranquillizers to 
relax his activation syndrome (tech- 
nical term for the physiological 
reaction under anxiety) , he may not 
feel so reinforced. In fact he may 
need a new television set to keep him 
from spending his leisure in disquiet- 
ing thought. 



Time-study activity, ideally, would 
seem to tend toward such goals. 
Practically, however, behaviorist ef- 
ficiency experts must continually be 
confronted with frustrating difficul- 
ties in achieving their ends. Labor 
unions, for example, frown on such 
methods, and even though they are 
powerless to prevent timestudy activ- 
ity they do manage to have a great 
deal to say in how these studies are 
conducted. Even where unions are 
not present, resentments arise among 
the workers when individuals within 
their ranks contribute toward raising 
work norms or lowering rates on 
piece-work as a result of increased 
efficiency. Nevertheless, psychology 
is coming more and more into use 
throughout capitalism today, and 
such methods as piping in of ap- 
propriate music, suggestion boxes, 
company picnics, parties, and ball 
teams, keys to the boss's restroom 
and every other conceivable kind of 
reinforcer to "identify" workers with 
management and make them com- 
pletely dependent on their company 



are coming more and more into 
practice. 

ADVERTISING 

The following simple basic prin- 
ciple of behavioral science has be- 
come almost the mainstay of the 
advertising industry. It was a Rus- 
sian, Pavlov, who discovered that 
when you sound a bell just before 
feeding a dog, after a while the dog 
will salivate at the mere sound of 
the bell without the food. In the 
technical language of the behavior- 
ist the food is an unconditional stim- 
ulus The bell, originally a neutral 
stimulus, acquires the power to elicit 
the response of salivation by being 
paired with the food, and thus be- 
comes a conditioned stimulus. Tech- 
nically of course, salivation is an 
example of reflex behavior, and what 
the advertiser wants to control is 
operant behavior; but the principles 
are not so very different. 

And how do you like your new Mus- 
tang this year? Do you, too, get that 
unexplainable sexual kick when you 
sit behind the wheel and step on the 
gas 1 ? The car has been paired 
repeatedly with several different 
stimuli for sexual responses. Note 
the galloping horse on the grni 
design, the sleek curves and lines, 
the suggestive slits and openings just 
behind the cab, the smooth blonde 
that slithers into the front seat dur- 
ing the television commercial. Nobody 
actually thinks that he gets the girl 
when he buys the car; that isn t the 
point. The point is to make the car 
a conditioned stimulus for sexual 
feelings. The pairing of the car 
with sex may not actually take effect 
until you watch the commercial for 
the fiftieth time; but if the company 
can pay for fifty commercials, they ve 
got you. If you don't buy it by that 
time the reason is probably that 
every other company does the same 
thing. 



THE MILITARY 

A great deal of control is required 
to get a man to hunt down and shoot 
human beings, disembowel them with 
bayonets, sizzle their children into 



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No. 3 — 19 66 No- 3 



1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 11 



squirming pieces of charcoal with 
jellied gasoline, starve their families 
to death by poisoning their rice 
crops, drop bombs on their homes, 
trains, places of work, and hospitals, 
line them along the edges of bull- 
dozed pits and mow them down with 
machine guns, contemplate atomiz- 
ing them in a nuclear dust cloud, 
and finally invite them to participate 
in economic reconstruction among 
the still-smoking ruins of their vil- 
lages. These things require a firm 
ideological commitment to "freedom" 
on the part of one's troops. 

The process of obtaining the com- 
mitment really begins back in 
elementary school, where a given 
country's flag (stars and stripes, ham- 
mer and sickle, or swastika) is paired 
every single morning with social ap- 
proval, group liturgy, and father- 
images (Lenin, Johnson, God) . The 
flag eventually becomes a conditioned 
discriminative stimulus, providing the 
occasion for almost any behavior 
which can be construed as "defend- 
ing" it. However, the flag is not 
enough. The next step is to con- 
dition into the soldier another set 
of stimuli that will turn on his acti- 
vation syndrome and turn off his 
brains when he gets on the firing 
line. Here "enemy" symbols, flags, 
uniforms, faces, and ideological con- 
cepts are paired with atrocity pictures 
and stories. Meanwhile, the soldier 
will have been punished so much 
himself by his own training that he 
will literally beg for the chance to 
unleash his repressed counter-ag- 
gression on someone. The ideal 
someone, for his trainer, is the so- 
called enemy. Whenever the soldier 
blasts to bits a cardboard replica 
resembling the "enemy," he will be 
reinforced by approval, merit-points, 
ranks of marksmanship, etc. When 
he graduates from training and 
blasts to flesh-and-bloody bits the 
original human models, he will be 
reinforced with medals, rank insig- 
nia, and improvement in his social 
status. No use now to tell him that 
the "enemy's" children are just as 
human as his own. The mere sight 
I of a face or building to which the 



word "enemy" is attached has be- 
come both an aversive and a discrim- 
inative stimulus, occasioning (man- 
ually) only one conditioned response: 
kill. In socialist language, we call 
these methods head-fixing. 

We have only listed here the 
most basic methods of behavioral 
control. There is no room to explore 
the possibilities of hypnotism, drugs, 
and subliminal suggestion, all of 
which have been experimented with 
by capitalism's power structure. 

WORKERS NEED KNOWLEDGE 

The misuse of psychology, like the 
misuse of other sciences, is the fault 
of the capitalist system. Capitalism 
is a class society, where the ruling 
class, the owners of productive prop- 
erty, are always faced with the 
problem of controlling their workers 
and soldiers and staying in the saddle 
for the only thing that counts: profit. 
This has always been a difficult prob- 
lem, as 'the numerous desertions, 
strikes, riots, and rebellions of his- 
tory will attest. It is inevitable that 
when its vital class interests need 
defending, a ruling class will use any 
method at its command. Once hav- 
ing discovered a method like behav- 
ioral science and achieved results 
with it, the rulers themselves are 
reinforced. They will continue to 
develop and refine the method far 
beyond its present crude possibilities. 

The working class have only one 
weapon with which to reply: knowl- 
edgeable revolution. Workers might 
find some knowledge of behavioral 
science helpful, but above all they 
need a knowledge of what capitalism 
is, how it works, how to get rid of 
it, and how to replace it with a co- 
operative society where each produces 
according to his ability and receives 
according to his need. A politically 
ignorant worker is hardly better off 
facing his masters than a pigeon in 
a laboratory experiment: he could be 
worse off, because at least the labo- 
ratory will take the responsibility of 
feeding the pigeon. 

STAN BLAKE 



TAXES, AND THOSE WHO PAY THEM 



Rackets are a common thing 
throughout the nation today, ine 
Say papers are seldom devoid of 
?eature articles on some kind of 
racket. They penetrate every crevice 
of the social scene. There are rackets 
in numbers, sports, murder, beer, and 
everywhere else that the money com- 
modity is given an opportunity to 
function. They appear to hav an 
the identification tags of a money 

But those particular rackets, con- 
spicuous as they are to the pup c 
eve are small entities compared to 
tne mammoth racket - cap^ahsm - 
out of which they have emerged. They 
are merely segments of that global 
exploitative system which includes^ 
patrons every member of society 
who has to work for a living . 

Those who operate this remuner- 
ative practice, of separating the 
producers from the wealth they 
produce, are a secluded and distinct 
? lass in human society. They con- 
fute the owning class. They have 
certificates of various kmds to prove 
that they have a monopoly of all that 
is useful and gainful, as well as of 
the equipment for reproducing and 
increasing the current riches. They 
are also well provided ^.^ p f' 
fective force to make good the cer- 

11 Wittfthis monopoly racket retained 
for themselves, it would be reason- 
able to expect that those fortunate 
proprietors would possess their estates 
in peace and enjoyment happy m the 
thought that the witless throng 
which endures the servitude ^ has no 
inclination to challenge their author 
ity to own and rule. But sucn is not 
the case. The capitalists have many 
family quarrels among the^selves^ 
The spheres of activity within the 
class are diverse and numerous. 
Thote Visions engender conflicts 
over the ways and means of running 
the orofit system. The bitter dis 
outes over taxes clearly display the 
Slscord existing in the different class 
departments. 



PRIME SOURCE OF REVENUE 
Taxes are essential for the upkeep 
of the capitalist state. They compose 
the bulk of the revenues needed to 
pay the enormous expenses by tne 
various branch of government. 

The U S. Treasury is not a com- 
munity chest filled with exhaustless 
monetary treasure that can be called 
upon to meet the demands of a grow- 
ing population. It is generally empty. 
Not only does the Government lack 
a sto'e of fiscal funds, it is actually 
in debt to the tune of more than 300 
billion dollars. And even this 
c mount is annually growing larger 
uStead of smaller. The liquidation 
of tWs indebtedness in the foresee- 
able future is not a likely happening. 
It is not even a desirable one. 

But this stupendous liability is not 
bereft of compensatory f eatures^ *t 
is not identical to the case of a work- 
er owing one hundred dollars and 
bolding a stock in trade of half that 
amount. The national debt is more 
Cn covered by tangible resources. 
These ale declared to be .by jvery 
financial reporter, m every business 
foumal the Gross National Product, 
the quantity of goods and services 
yearly produced. This affirmation 
is glaringly misleading. 

THE REAL "ASSETS" 
A closer look at the social setup 
1e ads us to the conclusion that capital- 
ist assets in these United States 
(whether classified as current defer 
red fixed frozen, or liquid) comprise 
nothing ess than the seventy-five 
22 men and women who con- 
S ttute the labor force in the economy, 
?he sole source for the accumulation 
of capital These are the golden eggs 

ST& means £ ^ -ducUon and 

rworTt b sq"bSe N about. Why 
nersTst m spreading the fiction that 
an enormous heap of commodities 
compost the national supply on hand, 



Page 12 



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No. 3 — 1966 



So. 3 — 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 13 



when right behind this aggregation 
of goods stands the real total wealth 
— the men and women who labor to 
place this fortune at the disposal of 
their rulers? 

The question now arises — if the 
U. S. Treasury is in a chronic state 
of financial decrepitude, where does 
the money come from to foot the 
bill for housing development, trans- 
portation, road building, park main- 
tenance, river and harbor readjust- 
ments, and the numerous other 
projects involving the expenditure of 
more than 100 billion dollars a 
year? The answer is that it comes 
from the revenues derived from a 
number of standard sources of sup- 
ply, the main one of which is 
taxation. Every section of land, in- 
dustry, commerce, and finance is 
tapped to provide the funds needed 
to keep the governing apparatus in an 
efficient functioning condition. 

FIGHT TO SHIFT TAX BURDENS 

Some capitalists invest in land. 
These are ever emphasizing the fact 
that the taxes on land are relatively 
higher than on other portions of the 
economy. They send perennial pro- 
tests to Washington anent the unfair 
burden of taxation that is imposed on 
their property. Time was when 
agriculture dominated the economic 
picture. Only a few generations ago 
more than half of the population was 
engaged in producing foods and 
fibers for domestic consumption. 
Today less than 10 per cent is oc- 
cupied with the same task. Forty 
years ago there were more than 7 
million farms in the U. S. This has 
been reduced to the present status 
of about 3 million. While hundreds 
of big ones increase, thousands of lit- 
tle ones are pressured out of ex- 
istence. Yet the total farm acreage 
remains fairly constant. Only the 
number of owners has changed. 

While agriculture occupied the 
primary position in domestic affairs, 
as much as possible of the taxation 
load was shifted to the less fortunate 
branches of industry than in their 
early stages. When these in turn 
developed to the point where they 



could assert authority, a greater per- 
centage of the taxes were shunted 
back on the landed gentry. 

The conflict of interests between 
the owners of heavy and light in- 
dustries is an ever observable fact. 
One administration favors the cap- 
ital invested in railways, steel mills, 
oil wells etc. and lightens the load 
of tax assessments at the expense of 
those engaged in manufacturing 
shoes, and processing foods. Another 
administration reverses the infliction. 
In the Johnson regime, something 
bigger than usual in the way of tax 
reduction has taken place. Over a 
three-year period, the entire tax im- 
position has been slashed. 

JOHNSON'S TAX SURGERY 

The average person pauses in 
bewilderment in the mystery of tax 
manipulation. On one hand we are 
told that as taxes form the chief 
basis of national revenue, they must 
be increased to pay for the growing 
needs of an expanding economy. On 
the other hand we are informed that 
a cut in taxes will stimulate the in- 
dustries to a higher plane and in- 
crease the revenue. How do they 
equate the two postulates? Strange 
as it seems, it can be done. The ef- 
ficacy of the up-and-down tax move- 
ment is a matter of degree. 

President Johnson's tax planners 
looked the field over and decided 
that the tax structure could stand 
revision. The theory behind this 
conclusion was that high taxes put 
a brake on business. This resulted 
in a "fiscal drag" that prevented 
business from doing its best. The 
remedy — cut the taxes down to a 
lower level and business would 
perk up. 

The plan was adopted. There were 
critics who contended that huge tax 
reductions would cause business to 
slow down and deficits to build up. 
But these were brushed aside. The 
ayes had it and so ordered. They 
insisted that with rising incomes the 
Treasury's portion in the form of 
taxes would rise too. It did. 

In the first two years of the plan, 
there was a tax cut of 14 billion dol- 



lars. Yet the annual revenue in 
those same two years moved up to 
the extent of 6y 2 billion dollars. The 
reduction in the tax penalty resulted 
in bigger incomes to tax. 

But this theory of the President's 
planners has its obvious limitations. 
It can succeed only so far. It is not 
a permanent remedy for the health 
of the economy. Keep on cutting 
taxes and eventually the "law of dim- 
inishing returns" will stymie the en- 
thusiasm of the capitalist planners. 
It is at best but a temporary device 
to assist in reviving a defective busi- 
ness medium. 

THE WORKERS' "GAIN"? 

Now this economic munificence we 
have been reviewing has af- 
fected specifically one section of 
society — the capitalist class. But 
let us not hastily conclude that the 
working class has been forgotten. It 
hasn't. 

In the income tax reduction alone, 
generosity unbounded has been dis- 
played. Billions of dollars of folding 
money would be left in pay envelopes, 
from coast to coast, due to the 
sagacity and foresight of the fiscal 
experts. Here's what a 10-point tax 
cut would mean to a married man 
with two children, assuming his 
reductions total 10 per cent. If his 
annual income is $3000, he would have 
an additional $30 dollars to play 
around with at the end of the year. 
If his wages or salary amounts to 
$100,000 a year, his bounty increases 
to an amazing extent. Making al- 
lowances for all the gives and takes 
involved in this bracket, he would be 
the lucky possessor of a Christmas 
bonus of $8,760. This should be an 
object lesson in stimulating workers 
to strike for higher wages. 

But these glad tidings of financial 
success pertain only to the diminu- 
tions in the income tax. The de- 
creases attendant on excise taxes are 
more dramatic still. A look at some 
of the quotations will suffice. 

First on the list — air conditioners. 
On a $600 conditioner there is a sav- 
ing of $40. But we haven't seen many 
of these things in working class 



homes. There the air conditioners are 
usually confined to the windows. If 
it's too warm — raise the window. If 
it's too cold — clamp the window down. 
Nothing to it. 

The next item is a pertinent one 
— automobiles. Many workers use 
them. The excise tax on these is to 
be chopped in 3 rounds, ending Jan. 
1. 1969. The saving here is con- 
siderable. Take a Cadillac for in- 
stance. We can afford a plug for 
this car in the U. S. It will not 
greatly affect the total sales. The 
readers of this journal are a sophisti- 
cated lot, and have developed a 
noticeable degree of sales resistance. 
When the entire cut is consummated 
on the Cad, the saving is around 
$400. This is enticing. 

On a $5000 ring, the buyer pays 
$500 less. On a mink coat priced at 
$5000, there is another retrench- 
ment of $500. Musical instruments, 
TV's, club dues, entertainment bud- 
gets, and virtually everything else of 
interest to workers are being lavishly 
deflated. 

IS TAXATION OUR PROBLEM? 

Now, how does all this reduction 
tinsel really affect the men and women 
who work for a living? Does it leave 
them better or worse off at the end of 
the year? Or are they still the same 
peddlers of the commodity labor 
power, which is sold at a market price 
which will enable them to function in 
producing wealth? 

In brief, do all these publicized 
money savers have anything to do 
with the workers' social position at 
all? True, there are minor and tem- 
porary effects on sections of the 
workers, but as a class they are im- 
mune to the changes. 

Do the workers pay taxes? Super- 
ficially, yes. Fundamentally, no. 
Most of the workers we meet are con- 
vinced that they pay taxes. It is 
obvious that they do. Almost every 
article they buy has a tax added. It 
is regular routine for the Government 
to withold taxes from wages or 
salaries during the year. The tax bill 
confronts them every time they turn 
around. 



Page 14 



The Western Socialist 



No. 3 — 1966 



Xo. 3 — 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 15 



To our ancient ancestors, it was 
obvious that the sun went round the 
earth. They only had to look at it to 
see that's what it did. There are 
still denizens of remote areas who 
are sure that's what the sun is doing 
today. It requires the teaching of 
the rudiments of astronomy and 
physics to get the erroneous idea out 
of their heads. 

WHO PAY TAXES? 

The workers of our time who are 
assured that they are paying the tax 
bills, will have to have their illusions 
removed through the therapy of 
social knowledge. They will have to 
have the fact impressed upon their 
minds that instead of them paying 
the taxes out of their wages, that the 
taxes are really paid by the em- 
ployers out of the portion of the 
wealth that is taken from the pro- 
ducers, and to which the owners are 
entitled due to their social standing 
in the capitalist system. 

A relevant illustration may help 
to elucidate. Take the case of the 
cow. The cow is a useful domestic 
animal. Her production consists of 
milk and meat. In order to get the 
optimum results, the cow has to be 
well fed, groomed, and stabled. Every 
care must be given her to enhance 
the milk and meat supply. 

Suppose the Government, in its 
quest for revenue, levies a sales or 
income tax on the cow. Such could 
have no effect on the economic status 
of the cow. She still must be at- 
tended to, and provided with the 
same amount of food and care if she 
is to continue on the same productive 
scale. 

Should the Internal Revenue De- 
partment insist on payment, and 
insert a clause in the form the cow 
is required to fill out, stating that if 
the payment is not pronto, a certain 
quantity of bran and turnips will be 
withheld from her dietary quota, this 
would only mean that the cow would 
retaliate by withholding the an- 
ticipated measure of milk and meat. 
It wouldn't pay off. 

If the cow tax is to be paid at all, 
it is the man who owns the cow who 



will have to make good. He is the 
custodian of his property, be it 
landed, bovine, or mechanical, and 
as such, must be ready to satisfy the 
Government's demands. 

The cow is more accomplished than 
the worker. She has two commod- 
ities to offer. He has only one — 
labor power. He sells this for a price 
that represents its value. Under 
ordinary conditions, while the price 
is not sufficient to enable him to in- 
dulge in luxury cars, furs, jewelry, 
and night club entertainment, it does 
give him enough to keep him func- 
tioning on the job, and reproducing 
his power to labor. 

When the Government calls upon 
him to dig up a specified sum of 
money to pay taxes while, in the 
short run, there does seem to be a 
deceptive vision of something being 
handed over, in the long run the tax 
payment becomes part of the costs of 
maintaining the labor power, and 
only the capitalist is in a position to 
pay this. 

J. A. MacDONALD 



ELEVEN LEAFLETS 

for FREE DISTRIBUTION by 
Comrades and Sympathizers 

No. 1— THE SOCIALIST 

No. 2— THE CAPITALIST 

No. 3— THE WORKER 

No. 4— THE CLASS STRUGGLE 

No. 5— DEPRESSION 

No. 6— POLITICS 

No. 7— WAGES 

No. 8— WORLD WORTH WHILE 

No. 9 — CHARITY 

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In lots of 100 — $1.00 (Including postage) 
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(May be assorted.) Order from: 

WORLD SOCIALIST PARTY 

11 Faneuil Hall So;., Boston, Mass. 02109 

or Socialist Party of Canada, P.O. Box 115, 
Winnipeg, Manitoba 



INTERNATIONALISM 

Introductory note: Like many of the terms used over the years by socialists, 
"Internationalism' has been subjected to the confusing influences of a usage sup- 
porting the efforts of nations, usually in the name of peace and freedom, to band 
together to improve their position in tlve ferocious struggles of capitalism. In this ar- 
ticle our old comrade uses the terms, as we have done, to mean a world approaching 
and arriving at socialism — a ivorld without nations. — Editorial Committee, SPC. 



The imperative mandate of our 
time is not merely a concept but the 
implementation of internationalism. 
It is the need which grows more ob- 
vious year by year, day by day. 
Those who ignore it deceive them- 
selves and hamper all humanity. 

In his pursuit of speed, sex and 
dollars, that soft shelled animal we 
call man seldom pauses to ponder 
this need. If he does, a few seconds 
are all that are necessary. First, an 
elementary knowledge of geography 
shows the earth only so large and 
no larger. Then there is a rather im- 
portant factor called population, 
fewer habitable portions, and many 
areas all but unfit for human occu- 
pancy being utilized. Improved health 
methods whereby infant mortality is 
becoming almost a thing of the past, 
old age extending, and wonder drugs 
curtailing epidemics and thus adding 
to the mounting human mass, causing 
nations to burst at their seams and 
spill over weaker contending nations, 
all point up the need for the one vital 
thing being ignored — human feder- 
ation. 

As for examples to serve as prece- 
dent, they are as plain as the points 
of the compass. In almost every 
respect, excepting survival, humanity 
has already federated. Thanks to 
communication each part of the 
planet knows what almost all other 
parts are doing, saying and all but 
thinking. Only yesterday, communi- 
cation was bound up with transpor- 
tation. They were virtually one 
and the same. Today they are 
virtually divorced and both are all 
but instantaneous. Man's mechan- 
ical devices encircle the earth with 
incredible speed, probing and spying 
and automatically relaying back in- 
formation to a sphere which has 



become as a mere child's playball 
which we weigh, measure and compute 
almost as accurately, while man on 
either hand confronts the naked 
poles. 

And transportation! The Aztec 
runners, the pony express, covered 
wagon, stage-coach, river steamboat 
and steam locomotive; all came and 
all have passed into the Umbo of all 
but forgotten modes of travel. Clive 
was a year and a half in journeying 
from England to India. Were he 
alive today he could make it in a few 
hours. By virtue of the jet airplane 
one can leave the Arctic atmosphere 
behind and be in sub-tropical zones 
before your milkman has made his 
daily rounds. 

All the prerequisites of an inter- 
nationalized, a civilized humanity, are 
here — save one, man himself. He is 
ever the great enigma, the arch 
predator, the only creature to plot 
the destruction of its own kind. He 
builds cities, then razes them. Years 
back, a famous war correspondent 
returned after ranging over Eurasian 
battlefields for nearly a lustrum. He 
was met at the ship by a mob of 
reporters. 

"Of all the scenes you have wit- 
nessed," one asked him, "which im- 
pressed you most?" 

"An Arab farmer plowing in the 
ruins of Babylon with his wooden 
stick," he replied. 

Such recurring contradictions down 
through his past make one wonder 
whether man can ever become a 
social animal, and internationalism 
ever become anything but a wishful 
dream. Yet the symbol, the guide- 
posts, have ever pointed in that 
direction. Perhaps the first symbol 
was the sun, a benefactor even our 
primitive ancestors doubtless saw, 



Page 16 



The Western Socialist 



No. 3 — 196 6 No 3 _ 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 17 



however, dimly, as the one thing all 
men shared in common. . And in 
all likelihood the sun was the first 
god. The habit of holding one's hand 
above the eyes when at prayer could 
well be a flashback to sun-worship- 
pers who were forced to shield their 
eyes from the red glare. 

Later along, when warring tribes- 
men had developed sharp weapons 
and saw blood that gushed forth from 
an adversary was of a uniform red, 
regardless of his skin coloring, it was 
made evident that all men at least 
were blood-brothers. Then ages 
later, when exploiter ruling classes 
needed a "name" for their protesting 
subjects, the term "Red" was seized 
upon and hurled as a branding 
reproach at those who forgot that 
"their's" was the noblest of nations, 
and who dreamed their subversive 
dreams of an international brother- 
hood. 

In our time defenders of the status 
quo meet the menace of interna- 
tionalism with a more, potent weapon : 
confusion. With their monopoly of 
the mediums of publicity they con- 
fuse that which cannot otherwise be 
combatted. First victim was social- 
ism, a specific analysis of social 
relationships. A web of misinter- 
pretation was woven around it until 
it became to most people anything 
but specific. Then came the camou- 
flage of uniting nations. In the face 
of the fact that nations are and have 
ever been symbols of the separation 
of people, the inference went forth 
that if there were only United 
Nations, the unification and univer- 
sal happiness of all humanity would 
automatically follow, that all would 
be "all for the best in the best of all 
possible worlds." 

As we total the successes of these 
and other deceptions, we wonder 
whether universal brotherhood must 
always remain a Utopian skyline 
which dazzles but dances beyond 
reach. As Robert G. Ingersoll would 
put it: "A faint and feeble flame, a 
flickering torch, by stumblers carried 
in the starless night." 

And yet, as we look over the list 



of those whose work meant most to 
humanity, we find that virtually all 
were internationalists, from Aristo- 
tle down to our own time. The one 
great question left is: was humanity 
really worth their efforts? Clarence 
Darrow put the matter bluntly but 
mayhap unerringly when conferring 
with union organizers in Idaho who 
were in danger of being railroaded to 
the penitentiary: "You may not 
belong in the penitentiary because 
you think you can help the world, 
but you belong in the insane asylum, 
for the world doesn't want to be 
helped." 

One shudders at such cold objec- 
tivity by Darrow and his predeces- 
sors, from Diogenes to Cervantes, 
Voltaire, Defoe, Clemens, etc. Then 
we recall those fallen civilizations, 
those magnificent cities now rubble. 
All combine to make us wonder 
whether humanity has any asset 
distinct from other organisms, except 
hope. Still, while its faintest star is 
seen we can only stumble through 
the gloom, holding the torch as high 
as possible. 

Just one of two destinies awaits us 
— Internationalism or obliteration. 

ROY DEVORE 



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This pamphlet examines the color ques- 
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Rhodesia. There is also a scientific ex- 
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torical origins of racist theories and a 
chapter on African nationalism. 
Price: 25c post paid. 



New from Vienna, Austria: 

For the very first time, a genuinely 
revolutionary socialist journal is being 
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recently published issue No. 1 of their 
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Word). Available (in German) from WSP- 
11 Faneuil Hall Sq., Boston 02109. Price 
25 cents. 



Green for Danger 

Once more the die is cast. Once 
again the working class of Britain 
have voted into political power the 
representatives of British capitalism; 
giving the "green light" for the 
wages system — that hallmark of 
their degradation — to continue. In 
the weeks preceding the ballot, how- 
ever, there was no sign that it would 
be otherwise despite reports in the 
"Manchester Evening News" of the 
"High I.Q." voting ability of some 
constituencies, Withington in par- 
ticular. The political "choices" of- 
fered in Withington, as throughout 
Britain, generally, were all pledged — 
in one way or another — to a con- 
tinuation of capitalism. Let us 
glance at the results of the "High 
I.Q." vote-casting in Withington: 

Sir Robert Cary, Bt. (Con.) ..16,676. 

D. G. Clark (Lab.) 16,029. 

G. V. Da vies (Lib.) 6,150. 

Does this result show any sign of 
the political maturity of the With- 
ington section of the working class? 
None whatever. No more, in fact, 
than it would nave shown had Labor 
won here as it did nationally. What 
Withington voters and the voters of 
Britain, generally, did in the 1966 
Elections was ensure: a continuance 
of limited wars and the threat of all- 
out wars; an "opportunity" for 
British youth in the "exciting" career 
of hired assassin in the British Armed 
Services; the degradation of the old- 
age pensioners; glittering Lord 
Mayors' banquets for the privileged 
and National Assistance for the needi- 
est; 1000-pound bids at Christie's 
auction and six-penny bids at Jumble 
sales. So much for the "High I.Q." 
voters of Withington, in particular, 
and Britain, in general. They have 
again supported the "heads I win, 
tails you lose" game of British capital- 
ism. 

The "Green light" has once again 
been given to British capitalism by 
a confused electorate. So war clouds 
will continue to hover ominously over 
ambassadorial banquets (and over 



everyone else) while the world's 
rulers go about their business of 
dividing and re-dividing the globe, 
fighting over mountains of surplus 
value that continue to be produced 
and given away by workers every- 
where. This is the "best of all pos- 
sible worlds" of capitalism — the 
wealth to the owners, the crumbs to 
the producers. 

If humanity had no prospect other 
than the "solutions" offered by the 
ruling class to the present earth-shak- 
ing problems the outlook would be 
black indeed. Fortunately, however, 
the nucleus of a means to end these 
problems does exist today, the (as 
yet) tiny scientific socialist move- 
ment. The socialist voter is the only 
example of "High I.Q." political 
maturity. He votes for the abolition 
of the wages system and for nothing 
short of this. Parliament in Britain 
and the other central organs of 
power throughout most of the devel- 
oped world can be captured through 
the election process by a politically 
mature working class but this will 
never be done by voting for capital- 
ism — the real enemy. 

What slave would fail to cut his 
chains once he realized that the bal- 
lot is a file which he possesses? A 
socialist working-class in Britain, as 
in other lands, will one day use this 
"file" to sever the degrading ball and 
chain called wage-labor. The spear- 
head of the socialist movement in 
Britain has shown itself in the 1966 
British Elections — in London and 
Glasgow — even though insignificant 
in strength. This is but a beginning 
of a political attack which will ul- 
timately sweep capitalism off the 
planet and forever put an end to the 
bloody period of class-divided society 
in the history of homo sapiens. 

G. R. RUSSELL, S.P.G.B. 



NOTE 
Bill Pritchard writes re the ending of 
his piece on Vietnam (WS No. 2-1966). 
"I wrote that the prize involved was In- 
donesia and T meant to write Indonesia, 
not Southeast Asia, as it appeared. (Our 
apologies, Ed. Comm.) 



Page 18 



The Western Socialist 



No.3_ 196e ago. 3 - 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 19 



PROBLEMS OF CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM 



Socialism is a system of society 
where there is no buying and selling; 
all the wealth of the world will be 
made freely available to all men and 
women — regardless of whether or 
not they can "afford" it (which is 
the criterion used today), or even 
whether they "deserve" it. We 
reason that as long as there's plenty 
of everything to go around, everyone 
ought to have as much as he wants, 
simply because he is a human being. 
And there is plenty of everything to 
go around. It is a fact that, if the 
productive machinery already exist- 
ing today were put to use to satisfy 
human wants and needs, instead of 
simply to make profits, then every 
man, woman, and child on earth 
could know what it means not to want 
for any material thing. 

In a society of scarcity, socialism 
would be impossible. But — thanks 
to capitalism — we are not living 
in a society of scarcity. Capitalism 
has solved the problem of production. 
Now it's time to move out of capital- 
ism, away from buying and selling 
as the means of distributing goods, 
and into socialism; because capital- 
ism cannot, apparently, solve the 
problem of distribution. Capitalism 
has raised the standards of living 
tremendously during the few cen- 
turies in which it has been the 
dominant form of society. It has 
raised standards so high that today, 
for the first time in the history of man, 
we live in a world of potential abun- 
dance. But there are two things that 
capitalism cannot do, and that is 
why we must now change over to a 
new system of society. 

First, capitalism cannot realize the 
potential abundance it makes pos- 
sible, as far as huge masses of the 
world's population are concerned. 
That's why farmers must be paid NOT 
to produce food — in spite of the fact 
that plenty of people are hungry 
every night despite what capitalism 
has done for them; — and that's why 
the so-called "effective demand" for 
any given product so often has little 



relation to how many people really 
would like it if they could afford it. 
We come back to the idea that goods 
today are produced to be sold; that 
buying and selling are the means of 
distribution under capitalism; that 
the question facing a man is always 
"can I afford it?" — not "Do I need 
it?" or "Do I want it?"... 

The other, second, thing that cap- 
italism cannot do is in a way even 
more important. It cannot provide 
a good social environment — a heal- 
thy moral climate in which people 
might enjoy such standards of living 
as capitalism does make possible. I 
mean by this, that even if it somehow 
became possible for everyone in the 
world to have everything they need, 
without making the great change 
from capitalism to socialism, it would 
still be almost impossible to enjoy 
the benefits of this situation to the 
fullest under a commercial, buying 
and selling economic system. For 
instance, if welfare agencies were to 
dole out a comfortable allowance to 
every single citizen of the capitalist 
world, this still would not be a desir- 
able society. NO MAN IS FREE 
WHILE HE DEPENDS ON ANOTHER 
MAN FOR HIS FOOD, CLOTHING, 
AND SHELTER. Only in a socialist 
world will individual freedom truly 
exist, for the first time in man's 
history. NO MAN CAN KNOW THE 
TRUE DIGNITY OF BEING HUMAN 
until the human race as a whale has 
come into control of its environment. 
And what does this mean, if not that 
the means of producing and dis- 
tributing wealth MUST BE DEMO- 
CRATICALLY CONTROLLED by so- 
ciety as a whole. 

Here are some problems socialism 
will solve: 

There will be no more war; no 
more poverty; no more economic in- 
security. Every individual will be 
free of these worries, and therefore 
free to develop himself, his own in- 
dividuality, to the fullest. The values 
of the socialist society, which will 
replace the commercial value of 



today, will be those of fellowship and 
' individual integrity. 

Of course, socialism is not a 
nanacea. It in no sense represents 
fhe final stage in the development 
of man. It does represent what may 
we il be the final step in man's con- 
trol of his social environment, and in 
this sense it will mark the beginning 
of his real history. 

We have never claimed that social- 
ism will solve all of man's problems, 
nor that it would be a good thing if 
it did. We simply claim that the 
problems the socialist revolution will 
solve are such that man will be 
released for the first time to face his 
meaningful challenges squarely. The 
problem of leisure time will have to 
be solved in the new society; the 
v problem of devising excellent housing 
for all people; problems of city 
planning; of education; and of a 
hundred different areas. But these 
are not so much problems as challen- 
ges challenges which cannot be met 
today, for the most part because of 
commercial factors involved. It is 
these factors that must be removed 
before man can really begin to live 
The socialist society will come into 
being as soon as - but NOT BEFORE 
— we all want it enough to make it 
work. It depends on you. 



Editorial Note: The foregoing talk was 
written- and delivered by Comrade Karla 
Ellenbogen over Radio Station WCRB-.4M 
and FM on Saturady evening May 7, 19bb. 



Why not pledge your- 
self to be a monthly 
supporter to assure the 
continued publication of 
The Western Socialist 
—an indispensable jour- 
nal for the socialist case. 



Continued from Page 7 
sumption are realized only to the 
extent that they further profit. 

THE MARKET IS NO GUARANTY 
OF QUALITY 

But does not the competition of 
the market force capitalists to pro- 
duce commodities of the cheapest, 
safest, and most useful nature? No, 
it does not. 

As goods become more technical 
and the production more complicated, 
the average person loses his com- 
petence to judge the product. He 
lacks the information necessary to 
evaluate a commodity, particularly 
in terms of alternative possibilities. 
In the case of autos, the buyer is 
confronted with 360 different models 
to choose from. He knows nothing 
about engineering and safety design. 
If all the models lack in safe design, 
he will not notice it. Subjected to a 
constant barrage of advertising that 
stresses looks, speed, and power, he 
comes to judge autos in these terms 
— and is then blamed for being too 
stupid to ask for safety. He has 
never been given an opportunity to 
weigh the merits of alternative 
designs of which he has no knowledge. 
Hence, to put it in terms of the 
time-worn expression of economists, 
he can no longer tell if the shoe 
pinches. In short, it is not in the 
interests of capitalists to provide the 
consumer with the information neces- 
sary to make a wise decision m 
buying. Institutional lying by the 
intellectual prostitutes of big busi- 
ness have hypnotized Americans into 
accepting the shiny new products of 
Detroit. 

The automobile industry is dom- 
inated by the four giant corporations 
that have a virtual monopoly on auto 
production. It is in the interests of 
the auto makers to restrict compe- 
tition to sales and advertising cam- 
paigns Under monopoly capitalism, 
large scale industry is dominated by 
a few giants who have an under- 
standing between themselves not to 
do anything that would rock their 
collective boat of profits. The days 



Page 20 



The Western Socialist 



No- 3 - 19 66 No . 3 - 1966 



The Western Socialist 



Page 21 



of cutthroat competition among the 
giants is over. 

Even bourgeois economists admit 
that under modern conditions the 
old guarantees accompanying the 
free market are no longer effective. 
But they assert that, nevertheless, 
there are "countervailing" economic 
forces that protect the interest of the 
worker as a consumer. The auto 
safety scandal has demonstrated the 
ineffectiveness of these checks. 

First, the few organizations whose 
purported objective is protection of 
the consumer failed to prevent the 
unsafe autos from being sold. These 
consumer organizations are few and 
small simply because there is little 
profit to be made in them; thus large 
investments are not attracted into 
the consumer analysis business. The 
largest and best known is the Con- 
sumer Union of the U.S. which tests 
consumer durable goods and pub- 
lishes its finding in Consumer Re- 
ports. C. R. failed as a check on un- 
safe autos for several reason. First, 
being little more than a small 
circulation magazine its influence is 
quite restricted. Its small voice is 
drowned out by the advertisements 
of the mass media on which billions 
of dollars are spent. Second, it does 
not have the funds to attempt com- 
plete engineering analyses of com- 
modities. Hence, functional design 
was ignored by C. R. Third, much 
of the key information lies behind a 
paper curtain in Detroit — even court 
actions on suits for defective design 
have failed to get Detroit to divulge 
information on the results of its tests 
of their autos' crashability. But most 
important of all, since C. R. accepts 
the basic premises of capitalist society, 
it is reluctant to probe too deeply 
into the workings of modern capital- 
ism. Hence the faithful reader of 
C. R. would have had no hint of the 
auto safety scandal until after others 
had already brought it into the open. 

What of the rival interests of other 
corporate powers? Take the huge 
insurance industry. One would think 
that since automobile insurance is 
the major item marketed by the in- 
dustry, it would have exerted efforts 



to uncover and expose Detroit's 
failings. However, this did not hap- 
pen. Liberty Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany men working with Cornell 
University did quietly display model 
cars designed for safety but, other- 
wise, no word of protest came from 
the insurance industry. Their silence 
in the face of the slaughter over the 
past decades makes them accessories 
before the fact. 

THE MYTH OF COUNTERVAILING 
POWERS 

Insurance companies can pass on 
the higher cost of auto crashes to the 
consumer by raising the insurance 
rates. The auto industry is a big 
customer for casualty insurers — and 
the latter do not wish to lose their 
customers. Then too, much of the "> 
income of insurers comes from in- 
vestments, not premiums — and the 
auto, rubber, and oil industries are 
among the most profitable invest- 
ments. However, "The most impor- 
tant reason," says auto critic Nader, 
"is the unwritten law that large 
business groups never attack one 
another over a fundamental issue 
publicly unless they see their survival 
at stake." Obviously, if serious 
charges and countercharges filled the 
air, the public might become dis- 
gusted with all the corporate empires 
and that would be dangerous for 
capitalism. 

The "free press," another capitalist 
watchdog, dozed while the scandal 
mounted. Afraid to offend one of the 
biggest advertisers, newspapers even 
now underplay the significance of the 
exposures. 

UNIONS CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT 

Trade union leaders feel a stake 
in the masters' industries. Since the 
United Auto Workers is one of the 
leading unions in the country, there 
has been no effort on the part of the 
A.F.L.-C.I.O. to counteract the Detroit 
snow job on autos. The only union 
boss who raised any noise at the 
Senate hearings was the ostracized 
Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters who 
has plugged for a fifth wheel to keep 
trailer trucks from jackknifing. 



Doubtless, auto capitalists felt they 
^eded Hoffa's advice about as much 
aS their passenger cars need a ruth 
ffheel. 

THE STATE IS NO PROTECTOR 
OF WORKERS 



The last desperate remedy for 
defenders of capitalism to prescribe 
W hen faced with the incontrovert- 
ible evidence of capitalism's inability 
to produce goods fit for human con- 
sumption is regulation by the state. 
Fiftv years ago, when people became 
aware of the kind of food the free 
market and the profit motive pre- 
sented them with, they turned to the 
federal government to protect them. 
The Pure Food and Drug Act was 
passed in an attempt to secure decent 
food and drugs. Despite this protec- 
tion, drug companies were able to 
cause the maiming of thousands of 
babies as exposed in the thalidomide 
scandal — and at the same time they 
were reaping huge profits. For 
several years, evidence has mounted 
concerning the connection between 
tobacco smoking and lung cancer. 
British medical authorities had pub- 
lished findings. But, until publication 
of the Surgeon General's Report, the 
silence from the federal government 
was deafening. The new head of the 
Food and Drug Administration, Dr. 
James Goddard, was quoted (in Time 
April 15, 1966) as being "astounded 
by the low quality work. . . the con- 
scious withholding of unfavorable 
1 data," etc. In spite of federal super- 
vision, airplanes continue to crash 
with clock-like regularity. The Fed- 
eral Power Commission did not 
prevent a massive electric failure that 
paralyzed much of the country last 
year The Federal Trade Commission 
whitewashed last year's investigation 
of unsafe tires. One could go on and 
on. But rather, let the capitalists 
speak for themselves. 

As quoted by the Wall Street Journal 
on March 3, 1966, 

"Some auto men, in contrast to the com 
pany's formal position, aren't as afraid of 
government standards, figuring that the 
government will have to come to the in- 
dustry for help in setting the standard... 



The same issue of the Wall Street 
journal quotes "an administration 
official" as saying, 

«We want to work in consonance with 
the industry to provide a relatively safe 
car within the framework of economics. 
(My emphasis, W.J.) j 

In the face of this, the liberals 
banking on the federal government 
to protect "the consumer is like 
leaving the fox to guard the chicken^ 
Yet Ralph Nader, Professor Jeffrey 
G'Connell, Arthur Myers, the New 
Republic's muckraking James Ridge- 
way — and the Communist Party s 
economics "spokesman," Fred Oilman, 
all seek the remedy in state protec- 
tion A doctor who continued to rely 
upon remedies that had been proven 
ineffective would be denounced as a 
quack. The liberals' and the radicals 
phony quack remedy of state protec- 
tion should discredit them as social 
critics The state exists to preserve 
the interests of the capitalist class, 
not to make life better for worker^ 

There can be no question but that 
capitalism's interests are served by 
the profitable crash-ups on the high- 
way Nader's views as summarized 
in the Progressive (May, 1966) include 
the following gems: 

"Under present conditions, there is little 
economic incentive for the auto maker to 
concern himself seriously with automobile 
casualties... for the costs and penalties are 
not upon him. Actually, the more cars 
depreciate through collisions, the greater 

the demand. , . . 

"Neither do auto collisions and injuries 
threaten the economy generally. For the 
costs of the highway epidemics are essen- 
tially economic demands feeding a vast 
hi-hway accident service industry composed 
oAnedical, hospital, police, legal, insurance 
repair and administrative services. . .Death 
on the highway produces incomes and 

Pr "The "economics of the highway accident 
industry... do not breed self correcting 
forces." „ 

Death and suffering are an eco- 
nomic demand" providing jobs and 
profit! What could be a greater ex- 
posure of the insanity of capitalism! 
Well-respected and well-paid phys- 
icians, lawyers, and businessmen are 



Page 22 



The Western Socialist 



No. 



>1966 



SOCIALIST LITERATURE 



parasites of human suffering. This 
calls to mind Karl Marx' remarks on 
the value of crime to capitalism* — 
it gives jobs to policemen, judges, 
etc. 

CONSUMER SOVEREIGNTY 
EXPOSED 

A final lesson to be learned from 
this mess is the exposure of the "con- 
sumer sovereignty" ploy of bourgeois 
economists. Soviet moves toward a 
greater reliance upon the market are 
gleefully cited as evidences of the 
effectiveness of the market as a 
mechanism to improve the quality of 
consumer goods. The automobile 
provides a test of this theory. 

The auto is a large item in the 
budget of most workers because it is 
a necessity for transportation. The 
auto industry dominates the economy. 
Safety in autos deals not with some 
minor aspect of convenience, but with 
life and health itself — it is literally 
a life or death matter. What do we 
see? In spite of the vast resources 
of the industry, in spite of the tech- 
nical feasibility of safe design, in 
spite of industries with a stake in 
auto safety, in spite of the press, 
unions, consumer organizations and 
the state — in spite of all this, the 
auto, the sacred cow of American 
capitalism, is a threat to human life 
before anyone even steps inside it! 

The worker cannot get reasonably 
safe vehicles because he is not 
sovereign, that is, he does not control 
the product and its manufacture. 
Far from being sovereign, the worker 
is the opposite — he is a wage slave. 

The term "consumer sovereignty" 
misrepresents economic reality. It 
ignores the question of how much of 
the wealth of society actually gets in 
the hands of workers. In reality, the 
capitalist class "consumes" most of 
production in investments, expenses 
of the state, etc., especially, in the 
accumulation of capital. Only a pit- 
tance is used to support the working 
class. 

The term also confuses an element 



See "Karl Marx on Crime," W.S. No. 3- 



1965. 



of choice between produces, ^for - 
domination. Privates in the y ; jgmy 
may get a choice of menu on some 
occasions, but only a fool would think 
they are "sovereign" because of this 
element of choice. They are still 
privates, not generals, and as such 
they are subject to the orders of the 
generals. The most misleading part 
of the term "consumer sovereignty" 
is the widely held assumption that 
the market operates so as to ensure 
the most satisfactory goods tech- 
nically possible within a given price 
range. 

Finally, it should be noted that the 
market with its "consumer sover- 
eignty" does not of itself provide cer- 
tain use values simply because it can 
never offer them for sale. Unpolluted 
air, picturesque natural scenery, and T 
ease of transportation cannot easily 
be turned into commodities. They 
must be obtained through cooperative 
community planning. Hence these 
needs are slighted in a market 
economy. ^ 

The only way workers can ensure 
the best quality goods is to institute 
a system of society in which satis- 
faction of human wants can be 
achieved without being restricted by 
the profit motive, class rule, and 
private property. Only under social- 
ism will there be goods fit for human 
beings. 

W. JEROME 

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NEW YORK: Discussions, third Friday of 
each month, 8:00 P. M. at Academy Hall, 
Room 15G, 853 Broadway, New York City. 

SAN FRANCISCO: All those in the San 
Francisco area interested in Socialism, 
contact J. A. McDonald, 48 Turk Street, 
San Francisco 2, Calif. 

TENAFLY, NEW JERSEY: All those in this 
area- interested in Socialism, contact 
S. Orner, 84 Dean Drive. 

TORONTO, ONT.: For information on 

activities of Local Toronto, Contact 
H. Syms, 2140 Queen St., East, Toronto 
8, Ontario, Phone 691-6575. 

VICTORIA B. C: For local activities in 
Victoria, B. C, contact C. Luff, Sec*y: 
2518 Empire St., Victoria, B. C, Canada. 

WINNIPEG, MAN.: Dominion Executive 
Committee of the Socialist Party of 
Canada meets on 2nd and 4th Monday of 
each month. Write P. O. Box 115, Win- 
nipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 




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